With support from the California Arts Council, Blue Line Arts in Placer County will provide arts programming for veterans and their families with a focus on arts therapy. SACRAMENTO, CA - The California Arts Council has announced today a record-setting $29,951,200 in support for arts and culture in California. A total of 1,534 grants have been awarded to nonprofit organizations and units of government throughout the state for their work in support of the agency’s mission to strengthen arts, culture, and creative expression as the tools to cultivate a better California for all. The investment marks a more than $5 million increase over the previous fiscal year, and the largest in California Arts Council history. Organizations were awarded grants across 15 different program areas addressing access, equity, and inclusion; community vibrancy; and arts learning and engagement; and directly benefiting our state's communities, with youth, veterans, returned citizens, and California's historically marginalized communities key among them. Successful projects aligned closely with the agency's vision of a California where all people flourish with universal access to and participation in the arts. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the California Arts Council recognizes that some grantees may need to postpone, modify, or cancel their planned activities supported by CAC funds, due to state and local public health guidelines. The state arts agency is prioritizing flexibility in addressing these changes and supporting appropriate solutions for grantees. "Creativity sits at the very heart of our identity as Californians and as a people. In this unprecedented moment, the need to understand, endure, and transcend our lived experiences through arts and culture is all the more relevant for each of us,” said Nashormeh Lindo, Chair of the California Arts Council. “The California Arts Council is proud to be able to offer more support through our grant programs than ever before, at a time when our communities’ need is perhaps greater than ever before. These grants will support immediate and lasting community impact by investing in arts businesses and cultural workers across the state.” The California Arts Council's grant programs are administered through a multistep, public process. Following an open call for applications, submissions are adjudicated by peer review panels made up of experts from the arts and cultural fields and representative of California's diverse geography; racial, ethnic, and gender identities; perspectives and knowledge. Based on panel recommendations and availability of funds, the Council voted on grant awards at public meetings on February 5 and April 1. Grant activities may begin July 1, 2020. Interested members of the public, artists, arts organizations, and community leaders are encouraged to visit the California Arts Council website to learn about future grant opportunities as details become available. Notification of grant program guidelines, applications, and technical assistance opportunities will be also published in the California Arts Council's weekly e-newsletter, ArtBeat. Subscribe at http://arts.ca.gov/news/artbeat.php.
Collage des Cultures Africaines
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'Mama Washington' Directs Last Afro-Haitian Dance Performance; Honored with City of Berkeley Proclamation Berkeley High’s Naomi Diouf, fondly known as “Mama Washington,” was lauded in a City of Berkeley Proclamation, “In Honor of Mama Washington,” issued on Thursday, May 16, by Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguin. The upcoming retirement of Ms. Diouf, teacher of African/Haitian dance and chair of the African American Studies Department, has prompted an outpouring of fond tributes recognizing her three decades of teaching and leadership making the school dance program what it is today.The City Proclamation says in part, “Mama Washington has dedicated her life’s work to the preservation, education, and appreciation of traditional West African music, dance and theater, enriching the cultural fabric of our city, our community and our world.” According to Mama Washington, the word “retirement” doesn’t accurately capture her plans. “I know I’m leaving a great part of my life,” she said, “But I’m not retiring, I’m transitioning into my next stage of life. That’s the African tradition — everyone goes through stages.”